Connor Barth's misfortune could cost him $2.3 million
It’s spelled out in surprisingly plain English in an otherwise convolutedly-worded NFL collective bargaining agreement.
In Article 20, Section 3, it says the following: “A player who is placed on a Non-football Injury or Illness list ("N-F /1") will not be entitled to any compensation under his contract while on such list. . .”
This is a rule that Bucs kicker Connor Barth is likely becoming very familiar with right about now.
With news breaking earlier today that he suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a charity basketball game on Friday, Barth is facing the very real possibility of having to go without his $2.3 million base salary in 2013. Because he suffered his injury away from supervised team workouts, he is not eligible to be placed on injured reserve. Under that scenario, Barth would be paid all of his salary.
That said, there’s nothing to prohibit the team from paying Barth if it wants to. But so far, we’ve not gotten any indication that’s happening. Something to keep in mind: The Bucs will attempt to carry over unused some salary-cap dollars into 2014, so every penny counts these days.
This is another reminder that, when it comes to offseason injuries, when and how a player sustains that injury can make a world of difference. Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers last year sustained the very same injury as Barth. But because that injury occurred at One Buc Place during offseason workouts, Bowers was not placed on the NFI list (he later recovered enough to play the second half of the season, but the point is still valid).
Barth’s circumstances are much different, meaning additional pain could accompany what’s already a serious injury.